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D-backs host annual holiday party for kids

Christmas came early for 600 kids at Chase Field on Thursday.

Arizona Diamondbacks players, coaches and employees gave out gift bags full of presents including shoes, socks, sweatshirts and books.

D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall said the event, which began 15 years ago, has grown.

“It started out as an event where we just gave out shoes,” he said.

D-backs pitcher Ian Kennedy said the kids thought the players were neat, but Santa stole the spotlight.

“I think every once in a while you see some kids that recognize us, but they just know us as baseball players,” he said. “I honestly think that Santa is the hit. I’ve been over there taking pictures with him before. It doesn’t even matter if you’re there or not, Santa is it.”